Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The least sexy movie of the year, 29 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Lovelace [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
This is a movie set in the pornography industry, mostly on the edge of cheap sets and in the downtime between shots, as well as the male-dominated smoky rooms where the fates of vulnerable young women are dictated. It uses the gloomy, raw, determinedly brown aesthetic of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Berberian Sound Studio.

Amanda Seyfried skilfully captures this vulnerability as Linda Marchiano, who drifts briefly into the world of adult movies with the arm of her pimp-husband, Chuck Traynor (an exquisitely sinister Peter Sarsgaard), locked firmly around her shoulder. Behind closed doors he's a careful physical abuser, slowly destroying his product, controlling her, but never ruining her. When Linda seeks solace in her parents (moving turns from Robert Patrick and an unrecognisable Sharon Stone), she's met with generationally anachronistic indifference: It's the socially expected thing to stick by your man.

Lovelace is at its best and most insightful in these domestic scenes, especially those with her chilling mother, who's as bleary-eyed and scary as the kitchen ghost in M. Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense. It's here, far from grubby porn sets, that the emotional core of the film is found, in all its savagery and tenderness. By contrast, the coke-fuelled parties and cigar-chomping business meetings seem flat, and bordering on stereotype, however well-observed their 70s production design.

The film sidesteps the A to B to C chronology malaise of many a biopic by returning to the start of the story halfway through, and replaying it from Linda's perspective. Suddenly, the sound of aggressive lovemaking is revealed to be a horrendous violent assault. We are in grey territory now, in the borderland between passion as romantic agony and passion as suffering. It's a clever filmmaking conceit that is typical of the movie's repeated demands that we question what we see and hear.

Like many a film BASED ON A TRUE STORY, Lovelace is not assisted by that tag, because inevitably the arguments about its veracity will overshadow the more general truth at its core - a truth about the radioactive nature of celebrity, and the relationship between archaic gender roles and unspoken domestic abuse. The film sometimes adheres to TV movie tendencies, but it is elevated to superior cinema by its expert performances, and by virtue of its unusual and effective narrative structure.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Oct 2013 12:44:54 GMT
LONE WOLF says:
She was sadly killed in a car crash I belive

Posted on 9 Nov 2013 09:10:13 GMT
J. Smith says:
Is this a Ctrl C Ctrl P review, sure I.ve read it elsewhere

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2013 14:08:52 GMT
R. J. Lister says:
Yes, probably on IMDb, where I post reviews also.
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